Tobacco caterpillar

Tobacco caterpillar: Spodoptera litura

Symptoms of damage:

  • Freshly hatched larvae feed gregariously, scraping the chlorophyll, soon disperse
  • Sometimes the feeding is so heavy that only petioles and branches are left behind

Identification of the pest:

  • Egg: Egg masses appear golden brown
  • Larva: Pale greenish with dark marking. Gregarious in the early stages
  • Adult: Forewings are the brown colour with wavy white marking, Hind wings are the white colour with a brown patch along the margin.


ETL: 8 egg masses/100 m row

  • Grow castor as border or intercrop in groundnut fields to serve as indicator or trap crop
  • Monitor the emergence of adult moths by setting up light and pheromone traps
  • Collect egg masses and destroy
  • Apply any one of the following insecticides to control the early instar (1st to 3rd instar) larvae
    • Carbaryl 50 WP 2.0 kg/ha
    • Quinalphos 25 EC 750 ml/ha
    • Dichlorvos 76 WSC 750 ml/ha
    • Diflubenzuron 25 WP 300-400g/ha
  • Neem oil (2%) 20 lit /ha
  • Prepare a bait with the following materials to cover one ha. Rice bran 12.5 kg, Molasses or brown sugar 1.25 kg or carbaryl 50 WP 1.25 kg. Mix the ingredients to obtain a homogeneous mixture, Sprinkle water (7 lit.) gradually and bring the bait to a dough consistency. Distribute the above bait on the soil, around the field and inside in the evening
    hours immediately after preparation
  • Apply Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus 3 x 1012 POBs/ha
  • Intercrop lab lab with groundnut 1:4 ratio
  • Spray any one of the following insecticides:
    • Imidacloprid 17.8% SL 100 -125 ml/ha
    • Quinalphos 25% EC 1400 ml/ha.



  • TamiNadu Agritech Portal.
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